2016-14 - Veterinarians accompanying livestock by sea

​​​​22 April 2016

Species: All Livestock

Country: All

Relevant to:

  1. Livestock Exporters
  2. Australian Government Accredited Veterinarians (AAV)
  3. LiveCorp
  4. Department Officers


To inform industry participants of the requirements for veterinarians to accompany consignments of livestock exported by sea.

To make clear to AAVs the requirement to provide reports to the department for which they are the nominated shipboard AAV.


The Australian Standards for the Export for Livestock (standard S5.1(b)) requires that an accredited veterinarian must accompany a consignment of livestock where it is required by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department). The Export Control (Animals) Order 2004 also provides the department with powers to place conditions on exports (see sections 1A.30(7), 2.44(4), 2.59(7), 3.07(4) and 3.15(6)).


The department requires exporters to have a shipboard AAV accompany consignments in the following circumstances:

  • If the vessel is travelling to or through the Middle East
  • If the vessel is new (or recently renovated)
  • If the consignment is the first consignment for this particular exporter

The department may direct exporters, on a case-by-case basis, to have a shipboard AAV accompany consignments in the following circumstances:

  • If the vessel has undergone a dry dock repair, or has had recent mechanical issues which has the potential to impact animal welfare
  • If exporting livestock to a new market
  • If the export consignment contains goats
  • If there was a reportable mortality incident on a previous shipment
  • If the voyage length may be unusually long (e.g. under an extended voyage management plan)

The shipboard AAV accompanying the livestock must remain on board until the last animal is unloaded.

The shipboard AAV is required to report on the voyage in accordance with the ASEL and attachment A.

For exporters with an approved arrangement

Exporters with an approved arrangement must include the engagement of an AAV in their Standard Export Plans for relevant markets. Exporters are responsible for engaging the AAV and giving them a program of activities (refer to section 1A .05 (1) (d) of the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004).  This program must include the requirements of attachment A in this Export Advisory Notice.

For exporters without an approved arrangement

Exporters without an approved arrangement will be provided with an Approved Export Program document for the shipboard AAV.  The exporter must provide this to the AAV (refer to section 2.47 (4) of the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004), which outlines the conditions under which the livestock may be exported.


Approved by – Kate Makin, Program Manager, Live Animal Export Branch

Contact officer: Stacey McIntosh
Phone:              02 6272 4581
Email:               Livestock Export

Last reviewed: 11 November 2019
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